Author's Note: Well, hello again all! I hope you haven't missed me too much…uh, we might leave that unanswered shall we? This was a little idea that started the first time I watched 'Murder of Innocence', and was one person who really wanted to see a bit more, so I wrote this fic. At this point, the first few chapters have been written, and looking for it to be about three or four chapters long. It is also my little peace offering for all those who are waiting for my other two stories to be updated, and for that I do apologise, I promise I am working on them! But this one just wouldn't leave me alone, so, without further ado, I present Truest of Friends: Greatest of Bonds.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything out of this story, except the original plot line. Characters and other recognisable plots/places etc. all belong to their respective owners. If you see any material that resembles another fic, I apologise in advance. Any resemblance is coincidental and unintentional.

Chapter One: Broken Realisation

I leaned my aching head back against the wall in my now silent hallway after the front door slammed with shuddering finality; the last remnants of my recent argument with the DCI still vibrating in the throbbing edges of my brain.

Groaning, I pushed myself away from the wall and staggered down the passageway and out into my tiny garden. For the first time, I thanked my older sister, Marion, for talking me into choosing a house with no neighbours; but at the same time, it felt incredibly lonely.

I placed my pounding head into my hands and sat on the garden bench, my shoulders shook and I felt my eyes burn. It always hurt when I argued with anyone, and I've always taken what people say to heart. I can still remember one particularly bad row I had with my father when I was eighteen; it left me feeling nearly as bad as I felt now. This, though, this really hurt (and not just in the physical sense either).

Swallowing past the enlarging knot in my throat, I stood automatically and walked back inside to the living room cabinet, and, grabbing my guitar, walked back out into the garden. Whenever I was upset – especially after a row – I would just sit and play or listen to music.

As my fingers began to strum familiar cords, I felt a new knot form in my throat as I began to sing softly.

"We signed our cards and letters BFF

You've got a million ways to make me laugh."

Well that wasn't true…Barnaby and I certainly weren't the best of friends; we never had been, and it was often me that made him laugh, not the other way around.

"You're looking out for me; you've got my back

It's so good to have you around."

I couldn't deny that that was true; he'd spent most of the last case trying to protect me – not that it did much good. Although, I mused, that was my fault, not the Inspector's.

"You know the secrets I could never tell

And when I'm quiet you break through my shell

Don't feel the need to do a rebel yell

Cause you keep my feet on the ground."

That was true enough; he did seem to have that ability to somehow read and understand what I was thinking and feeling and he did seem to be able to bring me back to earth whenever my flights of fantasy got too fantastical; which, I reflected with a small smile, seemed to happen quite often.

"You're a true friend

You're here till the end

You pull me aside when something ain't right

Talk with me now and into the night

Till it's alright again

You're a true friend."

"You don't get angry when I change the plan

Somehow you're never out of second chances."

Yes, but not that it does much good when I decide to be an absolute git.

"Won't say 'I told you' when I'm wrong, again

I'm so lucky that I've found

A true friend

You're here till the end

You pull me aside when something ain't right

Talk with me now and into the night

Till it's alright again."

"True friends will go to the ends of the earth

Till they find the things you need

Friends hang on through the ups and the downs

Cause they've got someone to believe in."

Does he? Would he really go that far?

"A true friend

You're here till the end

You pull me aside when something ain't right

Talk with me now and into the night

No need to pretend"

"True friend

You're here till the end

You pull me aside when something ain't right

Talk with me now and into the night

Till it's alright again

You're a true friend."

I felt my voice start to get softer and more strained and this time, I felt no embarrassment as I let the tears fall, splashing onto the shining wood of my guitar.

"You're a true friend."

At that point, I nearly whispered the last words, and I had to stop playing. Setting the guitar softly onto the ground at my feet, I slid off the bench and wrapped my arms around my knees, biting my lip against the cry that threatened to leave my throat. In the back of my mind, I knew I shouldn't be crying over something like this but, well, this song – once played at my niece's 6th birthday – has suddenly found a whole new significance for me. It fits John Barnaby so well; he really is the strong leader and exactly what the song says: a true friend.

And he's the one who has to put up with me, and I'm not – nor ever could be – either of those things. More tears fell at this realisation: the desire to cry out becoming stronger by the second.

So of course, imagine my shock when I heard a soft, familiar voice whisper my name tentatively just over my shoulder.

TBC